Columbia City Council authorizes support towards affordable housing initiative | KBIA

Columbia City Council authorizes support towards affordable housing initiative

Nov 18, 2014

The Columbia Housing Authority is in the process of trying to secure a 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit and the Columbia City Council will be backing them up. This tax credit will go towards renovating its 719 public housing units.

The Missouri Housing Development Commission allocates this tax credit on an annual basis. CEO of the Columbia Housing Authority Phil Steinhaus says the allocation process is “very competitive.” The Missouri Housing Development Commission has a statewide Qualified Allocation Plan that awards 9% federal and state tax credits on a percentage basis. 33% is allocated to St. Louis, 19% to Kansas City, and the remaining 48% is given to out-state regions.

Over the past four years, 50 projects received 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit in the out-state region. Columbia only received this type of funding for two projects back in 2012. Columbia did not receive a 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit in the other three years.

Because it is so competitive, Steinhaus says strong advocacy is needed from the City of Columbia to significantly impact the allocation of this 9% tax credit to Columbia. “The Missouri Housing Development Commission really looks at community support for these types of projects. And so when the Columbia City Council says that it ought to be a priority to renovate public housing, then they’ll listen.”

The Columbia Housing Authority held a public meeting regarding its Affordable Housing Initiative Monday before the City Council meeting. The meeting left vice chairperson of the Columbia Housing Authority Mary Anne McCollum feeling positive about support towards the initiative.

“Obviously, from the comments this evening, the city council seems supportive that they do want to see safe, affordable, efficiency-driven housing available,” she said.

The Columbia Housing Authority says this is what the City of Columbia needs to convey to the Missouri Housing Development Commission as well as to elected officials in order to be successful in receiving the tax credit:

  • The City of Columbia’s priority for 9% Low-Incoming Housing Tax Credit funding is rebuilding the Heart of Columbia.
  • Renovating Columbia’s aging public housing stick is a priority for the 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit over any other local projects
  • The Columbia Housing Authority is among a limited number of housing authorities nationwide that were approved to participate in the HUD Rental Assistance Demonstration (RAD) program to aid in renovating public housing units.
  • The 9% tax credits must be awarded for three projects over the next three years to complete public housing renovations within the RAD deadlines or the Columbia Housing Authority will lose the benefit.
  • The three projects the need 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credit are the Bryant Walkway Apartments, Providence Walkway Apartments, and the Park Avenue Apartments. These units are located in the Heart of Columbia.